Choosing Your Child's Name @ 8 September 2010 01:02 PM

Don't feel that you have to stick with family tradition when choosing the right baby name. If you really like a certain baby name, use it. Your baby will only have one first name, so don’t settle for just any baby name. Our kid’s names were our decision, my wife and I alone. We could have decided to carry over my first name for one of our boys and it did cross my mind, but we decided not to. We wanted a name that each of my boys could call their own. No one else in the family has either of these names, Alexander and Daniel. These are very traditional names. Nothing fancy with these first names. We got a little more creative with the middle names. Alexander’s middle name is Max, and Daniel’s middle name is Garret (Alexander Max and Daniel Garret).

My daughter’s first name was no different. My wife and I liked two names for girls. One was Lauren, and the other was the name we chose, which is Brooke. We chose Brooke because we knew we were going to use my wife’s middle name for our daughter. So we carried over Lyn as my daughter’s middle name (Brooke Lyn). That name seemed to fit perfectly.

This brings me to the reason for this article. I have a list of ideas that might help you when choosing a baby name. By no means is this considered a template to go by, they’re just tips that might help you decide.

My first tip is to… “Think of your child’s future.”

There are many factors that go into choosing the right baby name. Popularity of a name, names in news headlines, history of a name, ethnic background and even family tradition are few things that come to mind. Don't mark your child with a name that will haunt him or her for the rest of their life. Many children are teased at school because of their name. I was one, and I have a very common name, Gary. But I grew up in the mid 80’s and there was a popular children’s TV show called, “The Gary Gnu Show.” So all day at school, kids would call me Gary Gnu. Just make sure when you choose a name, look at all the posibilities. It's important that you have more than one choice for your newborn's name.

My second tip is simple, “Initials can be devastating by themselves.”

Make sure the first initials of the first, middle and last name do not spell anything undesirable. There are times that initials alone are required through life and having initials that spell obscene words can be very embarrassing. Most people do not look at the initials when making their baby name choices. This can be a simple oversight. That's why at BabyNameGuide.com, we include the initials as part of the favorites list. It’s important to us that you receive the entire picture before you make your choice.

Thirdly, “Keep family names in the forefront of your mind.”

You may want to name your child after a grandparent, parent or other family member. Maybe that's tradition and you want to keep that tradition. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But first, make sure a cousin, nephew or other family member is not using the same name. It can be very confusing for everyone if there are two people in a family with the exact same name. It’s even happened in our family. Ask around the family to make sure other relatives are not considering the same name. Other family members may have a special bond with a grandparent or relative and they are saving that name for their child. Work with them to create a variant name for their child or yours. It’s best to be mindful of other family members.

Next, “Consider your ethnic background.”

Be proud of your heritage by using a name that is part of your ethnic history. BabyNameGuide.com separates its database into 25 nationality categories. Each category is carefully created to represent the most common names used for that nationality. You can also do a quick search by origin.

My next tip is important, “Don't be too creative with your child's name.”

I can’t tell you how many celebrities come up with some of the most unusual baby names. Celebrities are funny people and being unique is sometimes confusing. If you are thinking of an alternative spelling for a name make sure that name exists. Your child will always have people spelling her or his name wrong if their name is not in the normal realm of thinking. It will be impossible to buy any name-associated product for your child including toys, ornaments and jewelry. How many times have you been in a store and seen Christmas ornaments, key chains, cups, etc. that have your name on it? If you spell your child’s name differently then everything becomes more expensive because you would need to have every personalized item custom made to order, which means more money and time. BabyNameGuide.com has over 20 thousand names to choose from, so there is no reason to spell something differently. Example: A variation of Gary can be spelled Garry, not Gari.

Lastly, “Make the middle name something special.”

Be more creative with the middle name. Use a name that may not work as the first name. This is the perfect spot for a relative’s name. Have fun with the middle name.

Sometimes we over think ideas and in turn, miss the obvious. I hope these tips help you choose the perfect baby name for your child. Good luck and happy searching.

Article by Gary Petrie, BabyNameGuide.com


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